Heavy rains last week postponed a Saturday morning barrel racing event but did little else to deter organizers of the Madison County Fair, which kicks off with opening ceremonies on Thursday.
Mike Corley, president of the Madison County Fair Association Board, said they’ve been preparing all year for the events scheduled for March 17-26.
“We’re finishing up all the details,” Corley said late last week. “We’re ready to get started.”
Corley has served on the fair board for 12 years and is in his seventh as president, although those years are not consecutive.
“I enjoy helping,” he said. “It’s an organization I believe in. I believe in teaching agriculture. Our kids need to know where the food comes from, and that it doesn’t start at the grocery store.”
Corley’s sons, 17-year-old Casey and 11-year-old Caleb, both participate in fair events.
“When we say ‘raising champions,’ we’re talking about the kids, not the animals,” Corley said, referring to the MCFA slogan. “It gives them a business opportunity and teaches responsibility. These animals require their care every day, and it doesn’t matter if it’s cold and rainy.”
The board has made a few minor changes this year – they’ve moved several events to the evening so more people can attend and they’ve expanded their barn to allow 29 pens for heifers.
“I believe it will be a great fair this year – and that’s because of the community involvement and support,” Corley said. “It’s great having so many volunteers who work at the fair. It’s amazing to see the people who come out and the support that they give.”
About 240 youth will enter projects into the fair and when all is said and done, about half a million dollars will be transferred over to the kids, Corley said.
“And that’s for a two-school, one-county fair,” he added, referring to Madisonville and North Zulch school districts.
The pee-wee pig show on March 23 is a big draw and mutton bustin’ at the rodeo is also a crowd favorite.
A full schedule of events is available at mcfa.net.